Bethany Anderson already had plans on attending CCBC Essex in the fall after graduating from last month.
Anderson’s original plan was to major in science and hopefully run for CCBC Essex’s cross country team. Now, the distance runner has even more options of continuing her athletic career, as she hopes to be one of the first members of the college’s new indoor track team.
CCBC Essex announced this week it would start the program this winter with current women’s cross country coach Larry Williams placed in charge of the team.
The Essex campus of the Community College of Baltimore County will offer Women’s Indoor Track and Field this winter to its female student athletes. Currently, Williams is recruiting interested female students for the team with former Loch Raven standout Mary Gauvin and Jamaican-born Shanice Boreland among those confirmed to join the team.
“This is a great opportunity and I hope I’ll get the chance to help build the program,” said Anderson, who recently received the first Anna Marie Stickel Memorial Scholarship at Kenwood.
Williams is no stranger to starting a program. The veteran cross country and track coach helped start the cross country program at CCBC Essex four years ago, and is confident he will have no problem recruiting quality athletes.
Williams said he expects to fill his roster out with a mix of athletes, including those that competed in track in high school, athletes from CCBC Essex’s other sports teams looking for a chance to stay in shape, and from those who fell under the recruiting radar and will eventually end up on four-year schools' rosters.
“I’m already getting a ton of inquiries and we’re late in the recruiting game,” Williams said. “There are a lot of quality athletes in the area and with us having the ability to offer some scholarships, I think we will be looked at as a quality option for student-athletes looking for a chance to compete in college.”
Marc Ershler, CCBC Essex administrator of athletics, said the college made the decision to add the program to offer additional opportunities to women athletes, who currently have only basketball as an option in the winter season.
Ershler added that he also views the addition as a great recruiting tool for Williams, as there will likely be many student-athletes who wish to compete in both cross country and indoor track.
“The programs are a nice complement to one another,” Ershler said. “I think Coach Williams will have this program being very competitive in a short amount of time.”
The addition of indoor track at CCBC Essex is welcomed news to not only students, but to area coaches as well. Among them is Kenwood’s Mark Planamente, who believes Anderson, along with another former Bluebird, Anya Sankar, would be perfect for the new program.
“I am really excited for this to begin and I think it will be great motivation for athletes that are local to run at the collegiate level,” Planamente said. “I think a lot of athletes are nervous about running for D-I schools due to the idea that it is more intense than high school.
“Also, with the economy the way it is, going to CCBC is a great way not to put these student athletes in debt while doing something they love. I only wish they had a men’s team, too. With having a track team there now, a lot of my athletes are already penciling them in as a potential option to run.”